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Giving Back in Tanzania


In 2006, the Tan­zan­ian gov­ern­ment made sec­ondary edu­ca­tion one of its high­est pri­or­i­ties and made it manda­to­ry to have a sec­ondary school in every ward across the coun­try. The Mat­eves Sec­ondary school was estab­lished on April 10, 2006. It is locat­ed eigh­teen kilo­me­ters west of Arusha, Tan­za­nia, in the Ngor­bob vil­lage, which is part of the Mat­eves ward, Muku­lat Divi­sion with­in the Arusha Dis­trict Coun­cil. At that time there were 123 stu­dents and 8 teach­ers. The school had no class­rooms — space had to be bor­rowed from a neighbor. 

Moun­tain Mad­ness, African Envi­ron­ments, and Around-n-Over have part­nered to raise mon­ey for the Mat­eves Sec­ondary School, and we are pleased to see the progress that has been made over the past sev­er­al years.

How­ev­er, there is always work to be done to cre­ate enough space for the chil­dren to learn. Every year, the gov­ern­ment assigns a new batch” of sec­ondary school stu­dents to all gov­ern­ment schools, which means Mat­eves enroll­ment con­tin­ues to increase. Since 2006, the school has reached approx­i­mate­ly 1,200 stu­dents and is expect­ed to con­tin­ue grow­ing to 1,600.

Through the help of gen­er­ous donors, 11 class­rooms have ben fin­ished and more are in the works. In order to low­er class­room sizes even to 50 stu­dents per room, the num­ber of class­rooms will need to at least triple. Dona­tions are the main source of fund­ing for these new buildings. 

It is note­wor­thy that in the first Form II Nation­al Exam­i­na­tion tak­en at Mat­eves, 100 of the 123 stu­dents passed and were moved on to Form III. This is above the nation­al average!

Moun­tain Mad­ness is pleased to have helped cre­ate a way for our trekkers to assist in the con­struc­tion efforts. Moun­tain Mad­ness has raised mon­ey through our Kil­i­man­jaro treks and vis­it­ed the school on a num­ber of occasions.

Moun­tain Mad­ness is also hap­py to help you arrange ser­vice projects. If you would like to con­tribute more direct­ly and vis­it the school, Moun­tain Mad­ness can arrange this before or after your climb and safari. If you have a spe­cial skill set, such as teach­ing or con­struc­tion, we could arrange for a ser­vice trip to Mat­eves to put your skills to work. Please call our office for details. 

Every lit­tle bit counts. One small ges­ture that cre­at­ed a great impact on the stu­dents’ hap­pi­ness was when Mark Gun­log­son, MM Pres­i­dent, took a bas­ket­ball hoop down to the school before his Decem­ber 2013 Kil­i­man­jaro sum­mit climb. The chil­dren were ecsta­t­ic about this newest addition. 

To give you a bet­ter idea of what it will take to expand this school to accom­mo­date the increas­ing enroll­ment, here are some figures: 

Cost per classroom:



Walls, includ­ing ring beam


Floor and wall plas­ter­ing inside and out




One win­dow (each class­room typ­i­cal­ly has 10 windows)


Ceil­ing board installation


Wall paint and painter








Pack with a Purpose

We are proud mem­bers of Pack for a Pur­pose, an ini­tia­tive that allows trav­el­ers like you to make a last­ing impact in the com­mu­ni­ty at your trav­el des­ti­na­tion. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suit­case and take sup­plies for area schools or med­ical clin­ics in need, you’ll make a price­less impact in the lives of our local chil­dren and families.

Please click here to see what sup­plies are need­ed for our project.


The Inter­na­tion­al Moun­tain Explor­ers Con­nec­tion was found­ed in 1996 in Boul­der, Col­orado to pro­mote respon­si­ble and sus­tain­able con­nec­tions between trav­el­ers and the peo­ple of devel­op­ing moun­tain regions of the world. Through its Porter Assis­tance Project, IMEC is focus­ing its efforts on improv­ing the work­ing con­di­tions for porters on Kil­i­man­jaro and in Nepal.

Promoting Sustainable Tourism

Accord­ing to the World Tourism Orga­ni­za­tion (WTO), Nepal and Tan­za­nia are among the 10 poor­est coun­tries in the world, yet of the least devel­oped coun­tries are in the top three in terms of tourism rev­enue. The Inter­na­tion­al Moun­tain Explor­ers Con­nec­tion is active­ly fol­low­ing the WTO Sus­tain­able Tourism Elim­i­nat­ing Pover­ty (STEP) pro­gram to pro­mote respon­si­ble, sus­tain­able tourism that facil­i­tates ben­e­fits from tourism trick­ling down” to all mem­bers of the local population.

Local Offices

In addi­tion to Boul­der, Col­orado, we cur­rent­ly have offices near Mount Kil­i­man­jaro in Tan­za­nia and, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Kath­man­du Envi­ron­men­tal Edu­ca­tion Project, at their Porter Cloth­ing Bank in Kath­man­du, Nepal. These offices store gear for the porters, raise aware­ness among tourists regard­ing porter issues, and con­duct edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams for the porters.


We depend on grants and dona­tions to fund our projects. Please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion and help make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of porters in Nepal and Kilimanjaro.

The Porter Assistance Project Seeks To:

Pro­vide indi­vid­ual porters, moun­tain crew, and climb­ing com­pa­nies with a con­ve­nient and inex­pen­sive means of equip­ping their crew with high qual­i­ty clothing.

Offer Eng­lish lan­guage, First Aid, HIV/AIDS Aware­ness, and Mon­ey Man­age­ment class­es in order to moti­vate and empow­er porters.

Edu­cate the tourist pop­u­la­tion about accept­able stan­dards of porter treatment.

Stock­pile water and wind resis­tant jack­ets and pants, quick-dry­ing syn­thet­ic base” lay­ers, gloves, socks, hats, sun­glass­es, and footwear. The equip­ment — donat­ed by man­u­fac­tur­ers, ski schools, and indi­vid­u­als — is avail­able for all moun­tain crew and tour oper­a­tors to bor­row. All that is required is a small, refund­able deposit.

Porter Assistance Offices:

  • Kath­man­du, Nepal
  • Moshi and Arusha, Tanzania
  • Out­side of the Machame, Marangu and Ron­gai gates of Kilimanjaro